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Deal 1246: Stabbed.

Dead. How can I be dead?

When did this happen? Why? How?

There I was, simply minding my own business. At sea, of course. WHere else would I be?

Don’t answer that. I was at sea. And the seas can certainly be fickle and changeable. But the fish were biting, all was well.

Then, thunk.

Something had stabbed me through. Something had flown in out of a clear blue sky and calm waters and stabbed me in the back.

Thunk.

It was as if the sky and water had found a way to cooperate and kill me. A sea creature, flying.

Thunk.

I’ll never forget that hollow, echoing sound. The sudden appearance of a spike from my chest. The weight at my back pulling be over.

Splash.

And now, here I am. Dead. Sunk to the bottom. Apparently doomed to walk the seafloor. haunting this bit of anchor chain. Nothing for company but the occasional deep whale. Or starfish.

Darkness.

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Deal 1234: Bowl full of jelly

The classic poem says “And laying his finger aside of his nose, / And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose”.

Obviously Clement Clarke Moore is concealing the true signal. If the magic were that easy to invoke, just imagine what would happen if the “right jolly old elf” should happen to sneeze?

The fat man would undoubtedly levitate in all directions at once. With results that can barely be imagined. In short, the results would be catastrophic, and likely paint the insides of the fireplace if not the entire room.

Running around with a knife to your face would be safer than that!

No, the details described are clearly nonsense designed to conceal the truth.

The truth is out there.

And it does jingle.

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Deal 1189: The next big con

The telephone has revolutionized the art of the big con. Once upon a time, a con man had to travel from place to place, then spend time to establish their identity and gain the confidence of some key figures in a community. All as the precursor to even beginning to think about starting a long con. It meant that a true long con really did take a long time to execute.

The telephone changed all that.

Suddenly it was possible to visit people in their homes or offices, almost without their even knowing they had invited you in.

Since a large part of the early effort is spent just to establish the trust needed to be invited in, the long con got significantly easier to play.

Of course, you still need to have a mark, a tale, and a payoff. And you probably can’t play it all solo.

But if you can master the art of sounding sincere on the phone, you can play the game without leaving your home.

You can even play more than one mark at a time, taking turns to advance each tale.

How could it ever get easier?

Then I got the letter.

“Dear most noble sir,” it began, “Greetings from the rightful heirs of the minister for imaginary trade outside of my country, who died unexpectedly in a most tragic and horrific fashion, with a sum of not less than ten million US dollars on deposit in an imaginary bank in your country. Which I know I can count on your help to return to its rightful owners. Accepting a generous fee for your services, naturally….”

I wonder what strange and wonderful technology will come next that advance the art of the con?

I can barely wait.